Nepal crisis lingers, Prachanda reaches out to ex-ally
The political crisis in Nepal showed no signs of easing even as Maoist supremo Prachanda tried to reach out to his estranged ally CPN-UML but made it clear that his party would not tolerate outside 'interference' in the country's internal affairs. Listen to podcastworld Updated: May 06, 2009 22:13 IST
The political crisis in Nepal showed no signs of easing on Wednesday even as Maoist supremo Prachanda tried to reach out to his estranged ally CPN-UML but made it clear that his party would not tolerate outside "interference" in the country's internal affairs.
Denying that he had named India in the current crisis triggered by his government's recommendation for removal of army chief Gen Rukmangad Katawal, the caretaker prime minister told a press conference "We will never tolerate any kind of interference into internal affairs of Nepal from any part of the world."
He said people of Nepal felt that India's role in the army chief issue was "not positive".
Two days after his resignation following President ram Baran Yadav's action blocking the move to sack the army chief, the Maoist chief today drove to the residence of CPN-UML leader Jhalanath Khanal for mending fences with the party that had withdrawn support to the Maoist-led government.
"We have agreed that all political parties should move unitedly by forging understanding to draft the Constitution on time and take the peace process ahead," Khanal told PTI.
The President has called political parties to form a government of consensus by Saturday.
There is a need to move ahead the politics of consensus in order to find a way out of the present crisis, Khanal said. "We are in favour of forming a government based on national consensus and we have taken initiatives to hold bilateral and multilateral meetings with different political parties."
Khanal, who has emerged as an acceptable candidate for Prime Ministership at a meeting of opposition parties yesterday, said although "some political parties have proposed that we lead the new government, we are still discussing the issue as we are in no hurry to form the government."
Nepali Congress and 22 other political parties have assured support to Khanal but Madhesi People's Rights Forum, which currently holds key to the government with 53 seats, has not yet made its view public.
Upendra Yadav, Foreign Minister and chief of the MPRF said that his party would support whoever forms the government based on a national consensus.
The hitch among the parties appears to be over Prachanda's insistence that the President withdraw his decision to retain the army chief. Prachanda said his party will not let the process of formation of new government begin unless the President resiled on his move.
The Maoists blocked the functioning of Parliament for the second consecutive day today demanding that the President withdraws his decision.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Maoist cadres, carrying red flags and chanting "we are ready to fight", demonstrated in different parts of the capital city, clashing with police at separate places.
They also shouted slogans against the President and the army chief.
At least three riot policemen and two Maoist cadres sustained injuries when police used batons and tear gas to control Maoist protestors who were trying to to demolish the statue of a former King near the old Narayanhity palace, police and eye-witnesses said.